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CITRUS hystrix

Image of Citrus hystrix

James H. Schutte

Family

Rutaceae

Botanical Name

CITRUS hystrix

Plant Common Name

Kaffir Lime, Makrut

General Description

Kaffir lime is a tropical evergreen fruit tree with a bushy and spreading growth habit. This southeastern Asian native has very thorny branches and thick, two-part glossy green leaves. Fragrant white flowers are followed by tart, oblong, pointy-ended, bumpy citrus fruits that ripen to yellow.

Kaffir lime trees do best in full sun and fertile well-drained soil that is not alkaline in pH. They appreciate hot summers and mild winters but tolerate light frost. They may be planted as specimen fruit trees, hedges or container plants in either tree or shrub form. Water them liberally during summer and sparingly in winter. They are valued for their nutritious, acidic fruits, with juice used for beverages and sauces. The aromatic leaves are used in many Southeast Asian culinary dishes and for decorative embellishments. Oil from the rind is used in cosmetics.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6'-25' / 1.8m - 7.6m

  • Width

    8'-12' / 2.4m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray Green, Gray

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Hedges, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes